World’s largest social networking company, Facebook, has been intensifying their efforts in the Blockchain space. They have reportedly hired the team behind Chainspace, a blockchain startup founded by few scholars from University College London, reports Cheddar, an American news media outlet. With this acquisition, Facebook is confirming their ambitions to become a significant player in the blockchain industry.
Facebook’s dedicated blockchain division is led by Marcus David who had been the Vice President in charge of the Messenger app. Though the company claims that they aren’t acquiring any of Chainspace’s technology, an official spokesperson was quoted as saying:
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”
The Chainspace team have been innovating a decentralized “smart contracts” system that could facilitate payments and other services through blockchain technology. The team was building a “distributed ledger platform for high-integrity and transparent processing of transactions within a decentralized system.” The primary goal of this technology was to improve the speed of transactions through blockchain technology. The researchers have also been experimenting with blockchain and decentralization on areas outside of payments, like polling.
Reportedly, the majority of the staff behind Chainspace’s innovation have been hired by the social media giant. Two of the white paper authors, Alberto Sonnino and George Danezis, have changed their employment as blockchain researchers in Facebook’s London office on LinkedIn, as per the report. The Chainspace website’s homepage also has a message appearing on top which announces that the “team [behind the startup] is moving on to something new.”
Facebook has been ramping up their efforts to hire people with a background in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. The social media giant has been quietly recruiting additional engineers, product managers, legal experts and academics with experience in payments and cryptocurrency. There have also been reports of the company sending their staffers to conferences to recruit cryptographers and researchers. The career page for Facebook currently advertises a vacancy for eleven jobs in the blockchain space.
The report claims that Chainspace was in the process of raising an initial round of funding of less than $4 Million. Though, how much Facebook might have paid for the acquisition remains unknown. The networking website, however, might continue acquiring other blockchain based companies as a part of their ambitious plan to dominate the blockchain industry.